Below you’ll find answers to some of the most-asked questions on our products.  If you don’t see what you’re after, get in touch and ask us your question.

Partition Systems
What is the difference between bi-panel and mono-bloc partitions?

The difference between a bi-panel and mono-bloc partition system is in the way panels are constructed and installed .  MIDDAS bi-panel partitions consist of two steel panels, each with a bonded plasterboard backing, that are friction fit onto our proprietary structural steel framework.  The panels are installed on both sides of the steel frame, leaving a void in between that is ideal for convenient routing of power and data services cabling.  The void can also be filled with insulation (such as Rockwool) for enhanced fire rating and acoustics.  Each panel is hung on the framework individually in a non-progressive build, meaning panels can be put up or taken down one by one.

MIDDAS mono-bloc partitions consist of two steel skins with a bonded paper honeycomb core or optional mineral fibre core for fire rated walls.  Mono-bloc is also known as double skin partitioning.  The panels are installed by sliding them into a head and floor track and are joined with an integral jointing strip.  Since there is no channel void with a mono-bloc system, locating services within panels needs to be accounted for during manufacturing with factory-prepared configuration.  Our mono-bloc system is a progressive build, so once installed as part of the wall, it is not as easy to remove individual panels.  To remove one panel, all panels before it would first need to be slid out.  With less steel framework and panels, the system is also often more cost-effective than a bi-panel system, yet is still as robust.

What are the benefits of a bi-panel partition system?

The benefits of bi-panel or demountable partitioning lie in its ease of reconfiguration and accommodation for distributed services.  Our M100 and M200 bi-panel systems can be fully reconfigured with minimal disruption, as individual panels can be removed from the framework with the ceiling, coving and other wall panels still in place.

The design of our bi-panel system allows service cabling to be routed through the panel void and framework as necessary. This means that final configuration does not need to be decided in advance and can change during installation should the need arise. Optional factory-formed service penetrations are also available to further support configuration and maintenance requirements.

A further benefit is that the system is a non-progressive build.  Panels do not need to be installed in any particular order and it is easy to remove and reconfigure panels individually as required. This means if your services layout changes unexpectedly, or a single panel sustains damage and needs to be replaced, this can easily be done in situ without removing a whole line of panels.

The system is designed to integrate flawlessly with third party floor, ceiling and door interfaces, offering architects, specifiers and contractors complete flexibility and choice.

What are the benefits of a mono-bloc partition system?

The benefits of mono-bloc or double skin partitioning are realised through cost savings, particularly with applications where flexibility of the configuration is not the main project driver. 

While M65 is a fully demountable and relocatable system, it is installed as a progressive build with all service penetrations and channels for cabling pre-determined during design and manufacturing.  Panels slide progressively into a head and base track and ‘click’ together using our proprietary connections.

Similar to our M100/M200 bi-panel system, the M65 system is designed to integrate flawlessly with third party floor, ceiling and door interfaces to offer clients complete flexibility and choice.

Ceiling Systems
What is the difference between plank and tile ceilings?

Similar to bi-panel and mono-bloc partitions, the difference between plank and tile ceiling systems is in the way panels are constructed and installed.

Plank ceiling panels are a bonded steel construction, with two skins encasing a paper honeycomb core.  The panels are self-supporting up to 3.0 metres, with concealed suspension hangers and wall-fixed angle supports for extended spans.  Our M-WOC plank ceiling system is tested for strength and durability and rated at 2.5kN point load, or 0.9kN/m² service load.

Tile ceiling panels are a single skin, pressed metal construction.  The panels are supported by proprietary clip-in spring-T carrier fixings and span channels.  Our MCT tile ceiling systems offers a more lightweight alternative to walk-on plank ceilings.

Both systems are a non-progressive build, with individually removable planks or tiles for easy-access maintenance of services.

What are the benefits of a plank ceiling over a tile ceiling system?

Both plank and tile ceilings are fully demountable and non-progressive, making it easy to remove and reconfigure panels individually as required. This means if your lighting requirements or HVAC services need to change, or a single panel sustains damage and needs to be replaced, this can easily be done in situ without removing a whole line of panels.

The M-WOC plank ceiling can incorporate flush aluminium coving for hygienic applications, with plenum solutions for controlled environments.

The MCT tile ceiling system can incorporate perforations and acoustic absorption options for better aesthetics within commercial environments.

Freestanding Structures
What is a Freestanding Structure?

MIDDAS Freestanding Structures are commercial or industrial spaces that can be constructed within any existing building, including storage warehouses, manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, to create an envelope that is entirely independent of the building structure.

Our structures consist of a proprietary steel framework which is engineered to support architectural finishes for walls and ceilings, including all distributed services, from our complementary product range.

What are the benefits of a Freestanding Structure over a traditional fit out?

Simply speaking, the biggest benefits of MIDDAS Freestanding Structures are speed to market and cost savings over traditional construction methods

Our structures allow any building to be easily re-fit for your required purpose, without the need for costly refurbishment or building from scratch. Our team will design a solution to fit your project, so there is no limit to where or how our structures can be installed.

Everything is manufactured offsite, modulated to your exact specification including all panel cut outs for services, and is delivered ready for installation.  No extra modifications are necessary during installation, reducing construction time on site.  This means your project can be completed much quicker, and with less cost, than with traditional construction methods.

What is the structural load capacity of a Freestanding Structure?

Our Freestanding Structures are built to support the full load of distributed MEP and HVAC services from the building slab (i.e., from the ground up), and not from its own structural framework. MIDDAS Freestanding Structures use proprietary steel framing designed to suit the specification of your project.

Our structures have been load tested and can support forces up to 2.5kN/m2 plus the weight of the ceiling.

Where can a Freestanding Structure be installed?

MIDDAS Freestanding Structures can be installed in virtually any wind and weathertight host building and are ideal for creating facilities such as cleanroom envelopes, commercial offices, training rooms or manufacturing cells, to name a few.

Our structures are perfect for leased spaces within lightweight steel frame buildings with minimum structure integrity, where internal steelworks cannot be attached to the building framework.

What is the environmental impact of a Freestanding Structure?

MIDDAS Freestanding Structures are built using our robust bi-panel partition system, which is fully demountable and reconfigurable throughout the facility lifespan. Our structures are also relocatable should your facility move premises, and can even be dismantled and recycled at end of life. Steel is also highly recyclable so demolition costs are minimal, and because our structures do not attach to the external building, building dilapidations are significantly reduced.

What is a specification and why is it important for construction?

A specification is a type of technical standard that gives a detailed description of all dimensions, construction, workmanship and materials of the required work to be done for a construction project. The specification is required during the design phase and defines (in words) what cannot be explained on a 2D drawing or 3D model. It forms part of the contract documentation and is typically prepared by an architect, architectural technologist or a construction project specifier.

The specification is an integral part of the Building Information Model (BIM) and remains a key element of the construction process because it supports the Golden Thread of information. It also provides clear instructions on the intent of a construction project, along with building performance requirements.

What information is included in a specification?

In construction projects, the specification document covers a comprehensive set of information, including:

  • The establishment of a site.
  • The type of contract.
  • Requirements for performance, systems and product quality.
  • Any applicable building standards and how they are executed.
  • Any specific products that the specifier wants to use.
  • Requirements for installation, testing and handover.
How do you write a good specification?

A specification is a living document that can be updated with information throughout the design phase and should be written in the earliest stages of a project lifecycle as the best practice. Early client requirements and high-level building performance should be captured so it can evolve as the design progresses, into choices about the systems, products and manufacturers needed.

Specification platforms such as NBS Chorus provide easy-to-use template clauses for a wide range of system types which are kept up to date with references, allowing specifiers to issue published versions at key project stages. A good specification will follow the key principles as outlined by NBS – the 7 C’s of specification:

CLEAR – use plain language and short phrases to avoid ambiguity

CONCISE – exclude irrelevant information to keep the specification ‘project specific’

CORRECT – clarify requirements and outcomes, referencing all relevant BS, EN and/or ISO standards as necessary

COMPLETE – use an appropriate depths of information and do not specify differently for contractors or manufacturers

COMPREHENSIVE – define everything once, in the right place, and use cross-references to avoid repetition or conflicts

CONSISTENT – use a standard structure, terminology and style throughout so it is easy to navigate

COORDINATED – ensure drawing references are updated to match model annotations and other contract documentation

Where can I find examples of building specifications?

Sample templates of construction specifications can be downloaded from NBS Chorus which will use the standard structure. The content of your specification will of course need to be specific to your project, but the available samples demonstrate the level of quality, structure, and outputs necessary to create a consistent database of information.

How do I add MIDDAS products to my specification?

All MIDDAS products are listed on NBS Source and anyone with an NBS Chorus subscription can easily specify them.

Product data can also be copied using the convenient ‘Add to Spec’ buttons on our individual product pages. Simply navigate to the product or system you want to specify, scroll down to the Technical Details section, and click the purple NBS button.

Do MIDDAS write specifications for clients?

Currently, we do not write our own specifications or tenders. We do, however, support clients with their own project briefs and can help contractors understand the building requirements for their site.

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